A dedicated circuit is equipped with its own circuit breaker in the electrical box because it has a specific purpose. It is meant to be used by only one appliance, making it “dedicated”. No other appliance will use its outlet or the electricity from this circuit. A dedicated circuit makes sure that a large appliance that consumes a great amount of electricity will be provided adequate access to the power it requires, preventing an overloaded system, which would result in a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
Some medium-duty appliances, such as a microwave or toaster, may require a 20-amp dedicated circuit. In comparison, a 30-50 amp dedicated circuit would be needed for heavy-duty appliances like a washer or dryer. Normally, these circuits feature “double pole” protection, which prevents the circuit from pulling an excessive amount of electricity, perhaps causing a fire.
Home Appliances & Equipment
The National Electrical Code requires a dedicated circuit for large electrical appliances, including washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, and space heaters. Each dedicated circuit ensures adequate electricity is available for the safe operation of appliances, preventing an overloaded system. All electrical equipment at a home consuming great amounts of electricity, such as a pool pump or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system), should be equipped with a dedicated circuit.
Dedicated circuits not only protect appliances, but also your family and home. An appliance without this safety feature can consume more electricity than the shared circuit can handle, causing tripped breakers, blown fuses, and overheated wire insulation, possibly causing an electrical fire. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, electrical fires cause 43,700 home fires in the U.S. annually, resulting in more than 430 deaths.
Keep in mind that some dedicated circuits are sometimes equipped with an improper wire size and inadequate amperage for the appliances they serve, which may lead to overheating and eventually a fire. Fortunately, a home inspection by an experienced licensed electrician can verify whether or not this is the case and make the repair.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.